South Los Angeles residents have scored a victory in a battle with an oil company that drills in their neighborhood after a city official rejected its plans to burn off gas at the West Adams Boulevard site.
Freeport-McMoRan, which operates the drilling site, had argued that it needed to install an enclosed burner to get rid of unused gas that is pulled up from the earth along with the oil, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. It argued that the new equipment would cause “near zero emissions” and have little effect on neighbors.
But a Los Angeles zoning official rejected the company’s plans last week, saying he had “major concerns with the level of emissions” near a neighboring apartment complex, houses and an AIDS Healthcare Foundation center.
Such a burner should be in an industrial zone, not a residential area, associate zoning administrator Charles Rausch wrote, according to the newspaper. He added that the Fire Department had expressed “grave concerns” about installing the proposed burner so close to apartments, including worries about foul smells, toxic substances and the possibility of windblown debris catching fire.
Local residents had fought against the plan, arguing that the city should take a closer look at the environmental effects of burning off gas at the urban site.
—City News Service
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